14 Smart Ways To Create Authority Content in Any Niche (Even If You're Not An Expert)
Jun 27 2020
17 min read
17 min read
Table of Contents
One of my childhood friends has a great quality.
Talk to him about any subject – politics, sports, fashion, celebrities, gossip, science – and he’d always know more about it than you.
When he’s around, he controls conversations and adds value with his thoughts no matter what the topic.
He’s no Einstein, not a bookworm and he’s certainly not a nerd.
So how does he know so much?
He "hacks" topics.
Yes, that’s right.
He hacks topics just like we hack niches.
His formula is simple – talk confidently, engage with positive body language, rephrase other people’s arguments and cite experts.
This is not a flawless formula but, most of the times, it works.
As a niche marketer who’s always looking for new, unique and profitable niches, this is exactly what you need to do as well.
Being knowledgeable and passionate about a niche is great, but you’d always come across highly profitable niches that you know nothing about.
But you still want to make money from it, don't you?
So how do you create high-quality content in that niche?
If you have some money, you could hire freelance writers who know your niche well.
Depending on their expertise, they could charge you anywhere between $10 to several hundred dollars for a blog post.
But what if you don’t have money, and want to create the content yourself?
That’s the problem I’m going to solve for you in this post, by giving you a simple formula that’ll make your blog posts more actionable, trustworthy and highly engaging.
What is Authority Content and Why Should You Care
You should care because establishing authority and delivering value is the core idea behind content marketing.
You can’t make sales in any niche unless people actually value your advice.
When your readers start considering you an authority, they don’t question your recommendations – they just follow.
That is why influential bloggers are able to generate twice as much sales for brands as compared to direct advertising.
When you target a small niche, you can build influence quickly and drive much more action as compared to a broad target market.
A study by Technorati revealed that more than 54% consumers agree that the shorter the community size, the greater the influence.
All this brings me back to my original point.
To build trust and influence in any niche, you need to create high-quality content that establishes you as an authority.
Every expert tells you three core components of high-quality content.
Such content is hard to create, especially in a niche you know nothing about.
But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
You can make your content appear high quality simply by making a few changes to your writing style.
Let me show you how.
1. Analyze Your Competitors To Understand the Niche
Before you start creating content in a new niche, you need to spend some time researching your potential competitors.
Start by identifying the most popular blogs and the most influential marketers in that niche. Study their writing style, look at their most popular posts and see if there’s any niche specific jargon that they use.
There are several tools you can use to research your competitors.
For example, you can use BuzzSumo to find the most popular blog posts in your target niche.
Let’s take the “weight loss” niche as an example.
The free version of BuzzSumo gives you the top 10 most popular posts on a topic. For more, you’d need to purchase the premium version.
But these posts are enough to give you insights on your audience.
Subscribe to the email lists of all the top blogs and take out time to review the most popular posts on all the blogs you find.
Once you’re done with the initial research, head over to your Facebook account.
Facebook is a goldmine for content marketers and researchers.
You can learn more about your target audience and competitors on Facebook than any other platform.
By using Facebook’s Audience Insights (Facebook --> Manage Ads --> Audience Insights)
Now search for the websites that you found on BuzzSumo (not the posts, just the primary domain) in the “Interests” tab.
If they have a large following on Facebook, they’ll show up in the list.
If they don’t, look for any other pages related to your target niche “weight loss”
I searched the sites that BuzzSumo listed in the Interests section and found some of them.
Then I Googled the “best health and fitness blogs”, and added them to the Interests section as well.
And since all of the interests I chose were closely related to my target niche, the resultant audience is also pretty similar to the one I’ll be writing for.
As the snapshot above shows, it’s a pretty large audience which I can use to understand this niche and its interests.
It shows their like/dislikes, demographic details, recent activity on Facebook etc.
You can dive deep into this information and learn as much about your audience as you want.
For example, I could go to the Page Likes tab and see what other Facebook Pages are like by this audience.
You can expand this list to see more Facebook Pages that your selected audience follows.
Filter out these results to choose the pages that are relevant to your niche.
Open them in separate tabs, review their posts and find the topics that generate the most shares, comments and likes.
Other than Facebook, you can also find valuable content insights on Quora and niche specific forums.
You can also look at the report, 1781 Profitable Niches by Stuart, to find more angles while researching your competitors.
When you analyze different discussions and blog posts, you’ll see that some topics are more popular than others.
People are more interested in learning about those topics.
List down all such topics in a separate sheet and come up with your own list of titles that address the same topic from a different angle.
Most importantly, target small and specific topics, and go deep when writing them.
Don’t try to cover a lot of different topics in the same post.
You’re new to this niche and you’ll have to spend a lot of time researching if your title is too broad.
"Writing in a conversational tone makes you look like an authority and encourages people to read your content and even participate by commenting." - Neil Patel
2. Write on a Narrow Topic to Simplify Research
To build authority in any niche, you need to create in-depth, well-researched and actionable content.
Doing so becomes hard when you try to cover 10 different topics in one post.
It becomes nearly impossible when you try to do this in a niche you know nothing about.
According to Sam Ovens, who runs a seven-figure training program for online consultants, going too broad and trying to cover too much in a single piece of content is one of the most common mistakes he sees by new consultants and marketers.
The smarter route is to identify narrow topics within your niche, break them down into even smaller segments and create separate posts on all of them.
For example, instead of targeting health and fitness, a very broad niche, go deeper and target something like post-pregnancy weight loss tips.
Break this down even more into segments like post-pregnancy weight loss for first-time moms, post-pregnancy exercises, healthy post-pregnancy diet etc.
You can use a free tool like AskThePublic to generate dozens of such ideas.
You could eventually come up with post titles like
- 7 Easy Exercises To Lose Baby Weight After a C-Section
- 11 Post-Pregnancy Weight Loss Myths First Time Moms Should Avoid
- 5 Easy Diet Changes To Help You Lose Weight After Delivery
Researching content for these titles is MUCH easier since they’re very narrow topics targeting very specific problems.
Targeting a narrow topic and providing actionable solutions to your audience, instead of taking a bird’s eye view of multiple topics, also establishes you as an authority much faster.
3. Use Lots of Snapshots and Visuals to Keep Your Readers Engaged
One of the easiest ways to make your content look professional and trustworthy is by using snapshots and visuals frequently.
It not only makes your content look good but also helps your readers understand and consume information much more effectively.
Research shows that our brains process visual information almost 60,000 times faster than plain text.
A reader is much likelier to remember visual based content as compared to simple text.
In fact, a separate study shows that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by almost 80%.
Roger Dooley, a neuro-marketing expert, recommends using images and snapshots with your content even when they add no apparent value.
Because images and snapshots make your content look more credible.
When you’re writing a blog post or product reviews, create snapshots and explain things in detail to your readers.
To make your snapshot even more effective, use Evernote Web Clipper .
It allows you to add text, arrows and symbols to your snapshots.
You can also highlight any area that you want your readers to see.
Even when you’re taking snapshots from other websites, you can add your own comments or highlight things for your readers.
This makes the image much more useful and makes your content look credible.
To add more originality to your content, and engage your readers even more, you can create your own animated gifs.
You can use them to demonstrate a small product function, for example, opening and closing of a bottle or jar (or any other product feature).
Or you can simply use them to add a bit of fun to your content.
You can create your GIFs yourself by using Giphly.
Just paste a video link and select the frames to convert into a GIF file.
Also consider adding videos, especially in your product reviews.
According to Internet Retailer, viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product review video.
Videos not only engage visitors much more effectively but also increase your web site’s average time on site which directly benefits your SEO.
Brian Dean, Backlinko, uses videos as a part of his blog posts.
For example, if he writes a list post that has 15 or 17 points, he would describe 1 or 2 points using video content.
Again, this makes the content look really good and adds a lot of credibility giving you authority content.
You can apply this technique to your blog posts and product reviews.
4. Quote Other Experts and Thought Leaders to Look More Trustworthy
The quickest way to establish credibility and make your content trustworthy is by quoting and mentioning the already established niche experts in your content.
You’re in a new niche, so people don’t know you.
But they know the other influencers.
You can simply borrow their credibility to look credible yourself.
You can do this in a number of ways.
Find the most popular blogs in your niche using Google search.
Just search a few popular niche keywords on Google, and the most popular blogs will show up.
Find a quote from any popular blog post and mention it in your own content.
For example, I know very little about psychology.
But when I need to look smart in front of my audience or add weight to my arguments, I quote consumer psychology experts like Sean D’Souza
Or you could go to Amazon.
Look for the most popular books on Kindle store related to your niche and note down the author’s name.
Then you go to Google and look for quotes by this author or reviews on his book, or see if he owns a blog.
When quoting an expert, use snapshots as well, just to add an extra layer of credibility.
If you think about it, people like Larry King, Oprah and countless other television hosts and journalists use this same approach.
They become trustworthy themselves by interviewing other influencers and celebrities.
This is the power of associating yourself with the right people.
"People feel like they need someone to ‘knight them’ before they can provide value to others.I’m telling you to knight yourself." - GlenClick here to Tweet this!
5. Add Numbers, Data, and Research Findings to Appear Knowledgeable
Start using numbers in your content.
Wherever you put them, numbers create an immediate impact and make your content stand out.
For example, a study by Conductor found that headlines with numbers were significantly more eye-catching for social media users as compared to simple text headlines.
Having your own voice and opinion is important.
But it’s even more important to back your opinions and arguments with data.
For example, which of the two statements sound more credible
Here’s another example,
A similar way to look good is to quote credible research sources or new findings in your niche.
You can find stats about almost anything on sites like Statista and Pew.
In case you don’t, simply search Google using
- your main niche keywords + statistics
- your main niche keywords + research
- your main niche keywords + infographic
Infographics, in particular, are an easy source of stats in any niche.
In fact, you can use them as snapshots in your posts as well, and link back to the original source (like this)
Source: Frugal Dad
Using established research and studies by other experts is another easy way to make your content look reliable.
When you’re new to a niche, you need to regularly refer to such studies and numbers to look trustworthy.
With time, however, your readers will start trusting you even when you don’t go into too much detail.
6. Write in a Conversational, But Authoritative Tone to Position Yourself Higher
Remember my friend from the start of this post? Here’s what you need to learn from him.
The so-called “expert status” is a relative term.
Nobody is going to crown you as an expert.
You need to crown yourself.
You’re an expert for anyone who knows less than you.
And that’s not very hard to do.
In fact, if you spend a couple of hours researching a niche, you’re likely to learn more about it than most people.
Your only challenge is to deliver that information in a confident manner that makes your readers believe whatever you say.
Your authority and confidence should reflect in your writing.
When writing blog posts, talk directly to your reader and look him in the eye.
- Use decisive words, give them instructions and tell them what to do. People like to be guided by experts. When you tell them to do something with confidence, they’ll follow your advice.
- Use short paragraphs and sentences.
- Ask questions and seek feedback just like you do while talking to someone.
- By running a few split tests on his blog, Neil Patel found that readers spent nearly 200% more time reading his content when he intentionally used a conversational tone.
The conversational tone works so well because it makes the reader feel like someone is actually talking him through his problem.
Research published in the Harvard Business Review shows that blog posts written in a conversational tone produce more oxytocin in the reader’s brain.
Oxytocin causes the brain to feel empathy and trust for the other person and helps in building more positive engagement.
You can use the conversational tone to your advantage even when you’re writing product reviews.
It silently builds a bridge between you and the reader and makes him trust you more.
7. Engage With the Top Influencers in Your Target Niche on Twitter
Twitter is a great place to learn about a new niche, connect with influencers and use their knowledge to create high-quality content.
Simply search your primary keyword on Twitter and click on the “People” tab to see hundreds of relevant Twitter users
Try following accounts that are managed by individuals themselves since that allows you to connect with them, build conversations and ask questions
Also, look for any Twitter chats related to your target niche.
I searched for “fitness chats” and found a hashtag #FitnessEdu that an influencer used to host her weekly Twitter chat.
Twitter chats are even more useful since they involve direct Q&A between influencers and their target audience.
Plus, you get to hear on the same topic from different people which gives you some great insights on the topic.
Plus, you get to hear on the same topic from different people which gives you some great insights on the topic.
Just going through the timelines and conversions of some of the experts on Twitter will give you tons of information about your target niche, save you hours of reading time.
And give you lots of pointers for creating high-quality content.
8. Read 3 Top Selling Books in Your Niche
Not everyone likes reading books.
But it’s one of the best ways to become an authority on any subject.
If you read the top 2-3 books on Amazon on any subject, chances are that you’ll become more knowledgeable about that topic than most of your competitors.
But even if you don’t have the time to read a couple of books, you can still use Amazon to gain insights on your target audience.
By simply reading the reviews for the most popular books.
Many customer reviews have enough information and value that you can use to create separate blog posts.
They’re real-life testimonials from people and often carry real-life experiences.
When you’re analyzing the reviews, look for any specific problems or topics that pop up again and again.
Use these insights in your content and quote different reviews from Amazon to make your posts richer and more valuable.
9. Host a Virtual Summit to Generate Content for Months Ahead
Hosting a virtual summit is one of the smartest ways to build authority in your niche and gather gems that can be converted into high-quality blog posts for several months to come.
Seriously, this strategy alone can significantly boost your brand image and give you more knowledge about your niche than any book or webinar.
If you’re not familiar with the concept, virtual summits are online events where 15-20 (or more) share knowledge and tips on a very specific topic.
All using video calls on Skype or Google Hangouts.
The event is free for anyone to attend while it’s live (usually 3-4 days).
But once it’s over, people can pay to access the complete event.
When executed properly, virtual summits can skyrocket your email list, connect you with dozens of influencers and establish you as a niche authority.
They’re happening in every niche these days.
Here’s an example
But how does this exactly help you build authority in a new niche?
When you interview 15-20 experts on a very specific topic, asking intelligent questions, people assume that you’re knowledgeable about that niche.
In reality, you’d just be asking the questions that you shortlist while researching for your summit.
But the viewers see it differently.
Think of Opera or Larry King or hundreds of other TV hosts that have become celebrities by interviewing other celebrities.
What exactly is their own expertise?
When people keep seeing you with other experts, they assume you’re an expert as well.
But there’s another benefit.
When you host a virtual summit and interview several dozen experts, you gain a lot of practical knowledge about your niche in a very short time.
Plus, you can always repurpose your virtual summit by using the insights from each interview and turning it into a separate blog post.
And just in case you’re thinking why experts in a new niche would accept the invitation to your virtual summit, read this detailed guide for the answer.
10. Create Round Up Posts To Crowdsource Quality Content
How do you create quality content in a new niche with an empty pocket?
By creating round-up posts and crowdsourcing content from other experts in that niche.
There are several types of round up posts you can create.
For example, you can take just one very specific problem and ask as many experts as possible for their top 3 tips to solve it.
This is usually the most common way to create round-up posts.
But it can take you several weeks or even months and countless follow-ups to create such posts
An easier way is to simply choose a problem and search the web for any experts who’ve commented on it.
When you have a list of a few dozen experts, simply copy their advice (with a link to the original post) and make it a part of your roundup post
But there’s an even easier type of round-ups that really consumes no time either.
Just choose a problem, search for the best content published on different blogs and forums, and publish a list of all such posts on your blog.
Round-up posts are so effective because they allow you to create lots of unique and high-quality content without actually writing it yourself.
Readers love them because they get to see multiple opinions on the same topic by different experts.
Always add your own opinion at the bottom of each expert’s advice. Tell your readers what you think about it and how it can solve their problem. Doing this will increase your credibility and allow you to build your brand image much quicker. I’m not asking you to write a thousand words either. Just a couple of sentences should be enough.
11. Invite Guest Contributions from Professionals
I’ve been blogging a number of years now.
Almost every day I get emails from different bloggers and agencies willing to contribute guest posts to my blog.
I don’t accept their offer since I have different plans for my blog, but if I ever enter a new niche I’d definitely check them out and use their content to build my authority.
People guest blog because they’re either looking to build backlinks to their sites or gain exposure in their niche.
If you can offer either of the two, you can attract lots of guest bloggers to your site.
When you keep publishing high-quality posts on your blog (even if they’re written by someone else) people will remember you.
For example, Jeff Bullas is a leading influencer in the content marketing and social media marketing niches.
But he hardly ever publishes content himself.
Almost 90% of the posts on his site are contributed by guest authors.
You can also head over to sites like Quora or LinkedIn Groups, find the groups related to your niche and invite the most active members to contribute posts to your blog.
For example, this group has almost 17000 active members
You can dig through the different thread in this group and connect with the members who’re actively contributing to different discussions
You can offer them incentives like free social media promotion or a backlink to their site in return for a guest post.
“Expert status can be created in less than four weeks if you understand basic credibility indicators,” said Tim Ferriss in the Four Hour Workweek.
12. Make Yourself Sound Official
“Join two or three related trade organizations with official-sounding names,” suggests Tim Ferriss.
While you can certainly do this and it will give you more weight during in-person meetings, it's not necessary for a niche site owner.
Instead, though, you do need to make sure you're labeling yourself properly and with confidence.
Beyond giving your instant credibility, it'll also help you take yourself and your website more seriously.
For example, I run a website on copywriting, and I label myself all across the internet as the Founder of Copy Power, LLC.
And yes, I do add the LLC on the end of it.
Because yes, even though it's "just a website," I do have the solid business paperwork behind it, which instantly gives me more credibility.
Of course, it might not mean I'm any good at copywriting (I am), but this step is all about establishing your baseline confidence in yourself... that you can do it.
13. Write a Guest Post for an Adjacent Niche Blog
Writing a guest post for a niche that's adjacent to yours and would share some of your same audience members is probably the best and easiest place to start.
Beyond giving you expert-level credibility by being published somewhere else besides your own site,.
Guest posts (or spots as an interviewee on a podcast) also generates a fair amount of genuinely interested traffic back to your own site
So you're killing two birds with one stone.
14. Join Sites Journalists Use to Find Expert Quote Sources
On the flip side, though, are people who are signed up as sources in their given fields and who sift through inquiries to find ones to respond to that are relevant to their expertise.
As a founder of a niche-focused website, you carry weight in your field, and many writers would be happy to quote you if you take the time to reach out to them in response to the queries they post.
I signed up for HARO, and after responding to a small handful of queries, got featured in an article in TIME.
When that happened, my site was only around six months old, and all my expertise as a financial blogger came from reading those three books I mentioned in step 2 and my general life experience. (See how easy this can be?)
The Curse of Knowledge: A Newbie Niche Marketer's Best Friend
But let's say you get this far and are still feeling a little unsure about your lack of knowledge and starting a niche site.
I'm going to let you in on a little secret that actually works to your advantage as a newbie starting a niche site. And that's The Curse of Knowledge.
“The curse of knowledge is a cognitive bias that leads better-informed parties to find it extremely difficult to think about problems from the perspective of lesser-informed parties,” is how Wikipedia defines it.
According to this logic, I just might be the best person ever to start a WordPress troubleshooting blog.
Because dang, I can’t even begin to tell you how freaking frustrated I get when I get into one of WordPress’s help forums that promises to tell me how to do something.
Only to find a ton of veteran developers telling me what to do in overly complicated language, but not HOW TO DO IT OR WHAT I SHOULD FREAKING CLICK ON.
(Sorry, calming down now.)
You might be better at WordPress than I am, but I’m sure you’ve ran into this at least a few times for other topics, am I right?
Because think about it, if I figure out how to do something in WordPress that’s been bothering the heck out of me.
Don’t you think I’m going to write it in much easier-to-understand and easier-to-follow-along language than those experienced developers?
(Like, telling people WHERE they can find that hidden button they need to click on to activate something?)
And the loads and loads of people out there like myself would love me for it.
Wrapping Up The Authority Content Issue
There are several other ways to make your content look more trustworthy, for example by sharing more examples and case studies.
However, the key thing to do when you’re entering a new niche is to follow the already proven success stories.
Instead of reinventing the wheel, just research the already established content creators and learn from their success.
With time, you’ll be able to create your own distinct voice and following, ultimately making you an expert yourself.